On March 27, 2014, women leaders in the Philippines negotiated and signed a historic accord bringing peace to a region that has endured a bloody 45-year conflict.
Chief Negotiator Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer is the first women chief negotiator in Philippine history to sign a major peace agreement between two negotiating parties. Coronel-Ferrer was joined at the peace-table by Presidential Assistant for Muslim Concerns and GPH panel member Yasmin Busran-Lao, and National Security Council Undersecretary and Technical Working Group on Normalization chair Zenonida Brosas. Women represented one-quarter of the total signatories to the agreement.
The Philippine government has made significant efforts to include and amplify women’s voices at the peace-table. In a statement Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles affirmed, “Women’s participation in the current administration is not just token representation on the table, but is something that has been shaping the discourse of the talks.”
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro concludes the 17-year long peace negotiations between the Philippine government and its largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). As a result of the agreement, Muslim rebels will disband guerilla forces, surrender weapons and rebuild their communities. The Philippine government has agreed to give the MILF more powers to control their economy and culture.